Teaching of German

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Teaching of German

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<p>MANUSYA: Journal of Humanities Vol.9 No.1 (2006)</p> <p>TEACHING OF GERMAN IN THAILAND: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE Wanna Saengaramruang1 AbstractThis paper aims firstly to give an overview of the development of German language teaching in Thailand at both high-school and university levels from the past up to the present time, since German has been taught in Thailand for more than 80 years and its development has not been studied and documented systematically or continuously. The survey and analysis of German teaching in Thailand in this paper deal with history, teaching approaches, curricula, the development of teaching materials, the number of German language teachers, students, and schools, the attitudes of German language teachers, the expectations of and attitudes towards German teaching among high-school students, and an analysis of the decreasing number of German language teachers and students. Furthermore, this paper also showcases other research works, support organizations, and activities for German language teaching in Thailand. The second purpose of this paper is to point out main problems in the future for the</p> <p>teaching of German in Thailand. The author attempts to state these by means of addressing further questions in the conclusion and epilogue about the interpretation of the Educational Reform Act, the objectives of German language teaching at high-school level, the factors to be taken into account in teaching foreign languages, and, particularly, the policymakers for Thailands foreign language learning, including the German language.</p> <p>HistoryGerman language courses were offered for the first time at the Faculty of Arts and Science,2 Chulalongkorn University in 1920 3 , three years after the founding of the University. The first lecturer in the German Language was Phra Montri Pochanakit4 and in 1935, the first native German lecturer, Dr. Klaus Wagner (the first state-university lecturer in the German language), came to the Faculty of Arts. German courses were suspended during World War II and resumed only in 1957 by Dr. Georg Heuser from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). The aim was to establish German language teaching at different levels.5 To realize this, the first group</p> <p>Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. The study was funded by the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University 2005. Thanks to Keeratikhun Chuenchomrat for help in translation.</p> <p>1</p> <p>This faculty offered the following subjects: languages, literature, and sciences. It is the current Faculty of Arts. 3 From the report on self-evaluation, Department of Western Languages, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, July 2000. 4 Festschrift (1967: 1). Phra Montri Pochanakit studied Chemistry and Pharmacy many years in Germany before World War I. Later he was a professor at Chulalongkorn University. 5 The offering of German at the Faculty of Arts was made possible by the cooperation of various</p> <p>2</p> <p>58</p> <p>Teaching of German in Thailand: Past, Present, and Future</p> <p>of ten graduates was sent to the Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany, to learn German. Ampha Otrakul was among them. After one year and a few months, she returned to Thailand in 1959 with the certificate for Teaching German as a Foreign Language and taught at the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. Thus, she became the first state lecturer in the German language6. A German language programme was, in fact, offered in 1957, but the first group of students was not from the Faculty of Arts but from the Faculty of Education. By the end of academic year 1962 the first group of three graduates majoring in German was produced. One of them, Chompit Saradatta, was granted a scholarship from DAAD to study in Germany. Then she taught at Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School. At that time, there were only three students in the Department of German Language, Faculty of Arts. 1963 was also the first time that two high-school students majoring in German passed the Entrance Examination to study in the Faculty of Arts. They continued to study German and graduated with a B.A. in 1966. It can be said that the Faculty of Arts was at that time the first institute to produce teachers of German at high-school and university levels7. In 1968, Ampha Otrakul graduated from the Ph.D. programme in German</p> <p>Language and Literature at the University of Marburg, sponsored by a DAAD scholarship. After that, she was appointed Head of the German Language Department, Faculty of Arts, until her retirement in 1995. Apart from teaching, Ampha Otrakul was a pioneer in a number of German-related fields and has been recognized at the international level. Her most important accomplishments include the translation of German literature and youth literature into Thai, the translation of Thai literature into German8, and the production of a Thai-German dictionary. Moreover, she has been the President of the Association of Teachers of German in Thailand for five twoyear terms, from 1993 to 2000 and from 2003 to the present. In the Faculty of Education, Surapee Sunghapichai was recognized for her dedication to the development of the German programme, especially the production of German language teachers at the high-school level. Thanomnuan Ocharoen is another key personality in developing the German programmes of the Faculty of Arts. Among other things, she initiated the first M.A. programme in German Language and Literature in 1974, the M.A. programme in Translation and Interpretation (GermanThai)9, and the Ph.D. programme in German</p> <p>organizations: Faculty of Arts, Dean, the Head of the Department. For German organizations: DAAD, the Goethe Institute, the German Embassy, the German Association for Research (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), Inter Nationes, etc. See Festschrift (1967) and 1. Thailndisches Germanistentreffen (2002). 6 Festschrift, 1967: 22. 7 Festschrift, 1967: 9, 26.</p> <p>For example, the translation of Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the translation of the works of Bll and those of Nstlinger; the translation of the German parts of King Chulalongkorns Letters from Germany, England and France to Her Royal Highness Princess Nipanopadol on His Visit to Europe in 1907, etc. 9 Thanomnuan Ocharoen was also the committee president for the Masters Programme in Translation and Interpretation in 1994. This jointproject included the Department of English, German, French and Japanese. The Masters</p> <p>8</p> <p>77</p> <p>MANUSYA: Journal of Humanities Vol.9 No.1 (2006)</p> <p>language. Wanna Saengaramruang, the first with a Ph.D. in German as a Foreign Language from the University of Kassel 1992, was a pioneer in the writing of German language textbooks, reference works, and handbooks for Thai learners, starting from German Grammar I (for Thai Learners) in 1983, Thai-German Tourism Dictionary 10 in 1988 and other textbooks and dictionaries for German language learning in Thailand. Moreover, she has been the thesis advisor to graduate students in German as a Foreign Language. Most of them are German language teachers at high-school and university levels. Apart from the graduate-degree programmes in the German language offered by Chulalongkorn University, the M.A. programme in German as a Foreign Language has been offered by Ramkhamhaeng University since 1999.</p> <p>German language teaching at highschool levelThe first high school to offer German language instruction was Bophitphimuk School in 1934, according to the Announcement of the Ministry of Education.11 The teacher was Mr. Reinhold Oswald Geisler. In 1941, a two-year German language course was offered at the then prep school of Chulalongkorn University,</p> <p>taught by Dr. Hans Klein, who also taught at the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. In addition, other important contributions to German language teaching at the high-school level were made by Srinantha Silapasawat, the former education supervisor of the Ministry of Education, and Prisna Taatloha of the Goethe Institute. Both of them have dedicated themselves to curriculum design, teaching materials, and activities, authoring for example, the series of high-school textbooks Viel Spa mit Deutsch and organizing Friday seminars (since 1975)12 for German teachers. Another personality was Clemens Terrde, Head of the German Language Division and Deputy Director of the Goethe Institute (19901998).13 With his advice and support, a number of teachers, both at high-school and university levels, were granted scholarships to attend training in Germany.14 He gave also support to the Association of Teachers of German in Thailand in 1993.</p> <p>programme in English-Thai Translation and Interpretation was launched in the 2nd semester of 1999 and then followed by the FrenchThai programme (Ocharoen, 1998: 7175). 10 Funded by the Faculty of Arts 1984. 11 Found in the History of Bophitphimuk School, 108th anniversary, p.83, ref. to Taatloha (2002: 195).</p> <p>Taatloha (2002: 202). Clemens Terrde was recognized as a specialist in Asian and Western cultures with more than 30 years in Asia (19671998), for example, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Thailand, 8 years before his retirement. See more information in the article Vesuch einer Bilanz in TDLVForum 6/2001: 10915 and TDLV-Forum 8/2003: 111. 14 From 1990 to 1997, 106 scholarships to Germany were granted to Thai teachers, 18 to Vietnamese teachers, and 9 to teachers from Laos under Mr. Terrdes consideration. Two training scholarships were granted to Thai teachers to attend training courses for teaching German in Indonesia. See more information in TDLV-Forum 2/1997: 86.13</p> <p>12</p> <p>78</p> <p>Teaching of German in Thailand: Past, Present, and Future</p> <p>Apart from the Supervisory Unit15 in the Department of General Education in the Ministry of Education, there are other Thai and German organizations which have played a key role in supporting German language learning in the form of scholarships and cultural activities. Foremost among them are the ThaiGerman Society (ThaiDeutsche Gesellschaft) in Bangkok, the GermanThai Society in Bonn (DeutschThailndische Gesellschaft e.V., Bonn), and the ThaiGerman Cultural Foundation (ThaiDeutsche Kulturstiftung). The ThaiGerman Cultural Foundation has, for instance, granted many ThaiGerman language teachers scholarships to study in Germany since 1996. Moreover, it has supported other cultural activities financially, for example, the translation of German short stories into Thai on the occasion of HRH Princess Sirindhorns 48th birthday in 2003.16</p> <p>a. Four-year undergraduate curriculum for students from the Faculty of Arts: This curriculum was specifically designed for the students of Arts. Emphasis was given to language, literature, and history. It required 79 hours a week, and students had to have studied German for two years in high school. b. 34-year undergraduate curriculum for students from the Faculty of Education: The curriculum required 79 hours a week and emphasized language. Introductory courses in literature and history were also offered. c. Two-year curriculum for students from the Faculty of Sciences: The courses offered were elective courses requiring 23 hours a week. d. Other courses for lecturers and students from different faculties. Years later, German language instruction was offered in many high schools and universities, both public and private, at different levels. Apart from English and French, German was offered as major, minor, and elective courses. The curriculum designed by the Faculty of Arts was used as a model, with some modifications made as needed. For example, at Khon Kaen University,18 most German courses offered dealt with German for careers because a survey conducted among high-school</p> <p>German language teaching at university levelIn the first few years of the German language programme, the courses available could be divided into two types: those for students from other faculties and those for the students of Arts. Undergraduate curricula, first designed in 1957,17 had different emphases, as follows:</p> <p>15</p> <p>The Supervisory Unit was abolished after the merging of the Ministry of University Affairs and the Ministry of Education. 16 Translated by lecturers of the German Section, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. 17 This first German programme was offered in the form of a percentage system in 1957 and many revisions were made. The credit system was first used in 1972 (Ocharoen, 2000: 18).</p> <p>18</p> <p>Weerananthanaphan, 2000: 312.</p> <p>77</p> <p>MANUSYA: Journal of Humanities Vol.9 No.1 (2006)</p> <p>students in the northeastern region in 1997 showed that the following courses were popular: German for tourism, German for hotel management, and German for business and trade. Thus, the number of literature and linguistics courses were reduced in order to respond to the market. At Ramkhamhaeng University, the emphasis was placed on selfstudy courses; therefore, textbooks were produced for self-study.</p> <p>Current German language teaching in ThailandTeaching approaches and material at high-school level One characteristic of German language teaching in Thailand was that the teaching approaches were similar to those adopted in Germany. This was because the same textbooks were used. The methods of German language teaching and the development of textbooks can be divided into three periods as follows: Phase I (19701974): Grammartranslation method: During this period the methodology of grammartranslation was adopted, together with the textbook Deutsche Sprachlehre fr Auslnder (Grundstufe in einem Band) written by Schulz and Griesbach. The emphasis was on German grammar and written language more than on spoken language. Teaching techniques were translation and sentence composition. Through these approaches students were trained to think logically and develop grammatical competency. However, they lacked communicative skills. The students trained by this method thought that language was grammar and vice versa.</p> <p>Phase II (19751989): Audio-lingual/audiovisual method: Based on stimulusresponse theory (motherchild method), the audiolingual/audio-visual method was adopted during this period, together with the textbooks Deutsch als Fremdsprache 1A/1B by Braun, Nieder, and Schme. These teaching methods were popular in the 1970s and many forms of audio-visual media were used, for example, tape cassettes, slides, and films. Through the media mentioned, communicative skills were practiced. Conversations in different situations as well as pattern drills in the textbooks contributed to communicative-oriented teaching. Phase III (since 1989): Communicative Approach: Based on the Regionallehrwerk19 (Region-based teaching) approach, the series of textbooks Viel Spa mit Deutsch 1, 2, 3 was initiated by Thai</p> <p>19</p> <p>In the 1980s, region-based teaching approaches to producting teaching media were much promoted in Germany. This was because, according to a group of academics, textbooks produced un...</p>

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